Xeno Hemlock


Posts in Chasing The Dream
We Are Made, Not Born, Brave/The 3 Benefits of Being Brave

There's something to love about BRAVE people: those who are not afraid to speak their mind even if what they have to say is contrary to popular and outdated beliefs, those who are not afraid to do as they please even with the risk of looking silly in the eyes of others, and those who dare to take the road less traveled because it's scary to live life without a map. They radiate with fiery aura, scorching hot to some, soul-renewing to others. Some of them get labeled heroes, some are misunderstood. They can be anybody, someone appearing in  magazines or even living next door. If given a choice whether to live life as a brave person or not, I'll always pick the former. Easy and tough choice. But I wasn't always that way. We aren't born BRAVE. We are made BRAVE.

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First Day; Goodbye

It's hard to say goodbye, to people, to beliefs, and even to places, especially if that place is where you built the beginning of your dream career.

Today, I sit here inside my favorite Starbucks store on its final operating day writing my first blog post for 2018. The closing of the store was supposed to happen months ago but got delayed a couple of times. I hoped some divine intervention would interfere and prevent today's event at all. But I guess some things were meant to end (or be). 

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The Inner Journey is Our Compass

This year, despite the political shenanigans, personal disappointments, career bumps, and even financial setbacks, I will not call 2017 a shit year. I will not look back on it and say, “That’s the year my Twitter timeline was flooding with negative local news.” Also, “That’s the year I got financially fucked because of an ill-planned investment.” Why? Because the world isn’t always a happy and worry-free paradise. That’s the reality.

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2017: Not My Year of Victory

Sometimes I find myself writing what seems to be endless drafts of a new writing assignment. When that's the case, I know either the topic lacks some depth or is completely the wrong one to write about. As I worked on my traditional end-of-year reflective blog post this month, I saw four drafts already on my digital notebook but I still felt the task was going nowhere. 

The story wound up like this.

Xeno: I have every right to call 2017 my year of victory. After three years toiling for my debut novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me, it had finally moved from Xenosphere to Internetosphere. I've achieved one of my big dreams and I could call myself successful. On the other hand... blah, blah, blah... lukewarm reception for my indie book... blah, blah, blah... graphic design career that didn't take off... blah, blah, blah... sudden disappearance of someone dear to me... blah, blah, blah... so I'm going to call 2017 my year of humility!

Still, that didn't feel right.

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I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me (My Debut Novel is Finally Here )

Ten years ago, I decided I wanted to be an author. But I did nothing to pursue it.

Three years ago, I received life's wake up call that I better start chasing my dream. If I chose not to, I'd die an empty shell.

Today, I finally made it happen! There's a deeper story behind this journey but I'll just make this short and sweet.


Dreams really do come true. 

You can purchase the e-book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFF1J85

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I Dislike Looking Back but Today I Am Doing It

I'm not a friend of looking back. In fact, there are a few "looking back"-related things and events that make me cringe:

  • high school reunions

  • conversations about the "good old days"

  • discussions, that have no productive purpose, about past miseries and misfortunes

  • trying to reconnect with people I've fallen out of touch with

Now before you try to accuse me of being a grouch, look at things from my perspective.

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Destiny is Made Known Silently

If I have to describe the last 365 days of my life, I'd call it BORING. 

Sure, I self-published Walden and Hyde (and Other Short Stories) last February, a milestone. Yes, I went to Hong Kong for the third time last October (but I want to go back to Disneyland for the 4th time). Finally, for the first time in my life I looked forward to my birthday. These three events would've been enough to not call my previous year boring. But at the end of the year, the sum of the parts still constituted to a boring whole. 

Let me breakdown my boring 2016 quick:

  1. After Walden and Hyde, I made lots of revisions to I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me.
  2. I spearheaded a social media campaign for the local branch of a political-economic union.
  3. I started my career in graphic designing.
  4. My blogging became less frequent towards the end of the year.
  5. I eventually sacrificed going to the gym during the last quarter. 

Work and "failures" were boring. Thus, my 2016 was boring.

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